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    Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu win in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

    Shimoga: Wicketkeeper-batsman Kannaur Lokesh Rahul's hurricane 62 off 37 balls helped Karnataka trounce Kerala by 83 runs in their South Zone T20 cricket match for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy here Monday. Batting first, Karnataka amassed 185 for five in their 20 overs with one-drop Rahul (62, 5x4, 2x6) top scoring and opener Manish Pandey notching up 50 off 42 balls.

    Rahul was picked up by Prashanth Parameswaran after he gave a catch to R V Gomez and Pandey was unfortunately run out after he cracked four sparkling fours. Kerala bowlers did not trouble Karnataka batsmen much as three of their batsmen were unfortunately run out. Paramsehwaran and P Prashanth picked up one wicket each.

    In reply, Kerala could manage to score 102 for nine in stipulated 20 overs. Local lad and medium pacer Santhebennur Lokesh Akshay (2 for 18) and A A Verma (2 for 16) were wreckers-in-chief. For Kerela, Robert Fernandez top scored with 21.

    In another match, Gautam Gambhir started his preparations for the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League in right earnest as his unbeaten 68 helped Delhi beat Punjab by six wickets in a North Zone leg encounte. Chasing a target of 161, Delhi knocked off the required runs with five balls to spare. Delhi got four points from the match while Punjab lost their second game.

    Gambhir played 54 balls and hit six boundaries and two sixes -- one off left-arm spinner Rajwinder Golu and other off seamer Sandeep Sharma over deep mid-wicket. However, Gambhir was dropped twice in the deep and had a charmed life at the crease.

    Along with Virender Sehwag, he added 76 runs for the opening wicket before the former was run out failing to ground his bat. Sehwag scored 36 off 26 balls with five boundaries. Unmukt Chand played an irresponsible shot off the very first ball that he faced as his slash of Amitoze Singh's bowling was taken by Ravi Inder Singh.

    But Puneet Bisht (32, 22 balls, 3x4, 1x6) and Gambhir added 52 runs in little more than six overs to seal the issue. It was skipper Rajat Bhatia, who smashed a boundary through deep mid-wicket off Sandeep's bowling, who finished off the match.

    In another match, Andhra scored a five-wicket win over Hyderabad. Hyderabad made 161 for five in 20 overs, powered by a 118-run partnership off 82 balls for the second wicket between opener P Akshath Reddy (44) and right-hand batsman Tirumalasetti Suman (85 off 56 balls). Suman craked nine boundaries and four sixes in his scintillating innings.

    For Andhra, left-arm medium Tekkami Atchuta Rao claimed four wickets for 32 runs. Andhra chased the target by scoring 163 for five with K S Bharat and D B Prashanth scoring 36 each. Bharat slammed six fours and a six and Prashant three sixes in an entertaining knock.
    S R Koripalli (29) and A G Pradeep (30) also played stellar role in the win.

    Tamil Nadu pulled off an easy eight-wicket win over Goa. Batting first, Goa managed to post 122 for seven in 20 overs. R U Shukla (39) was the chief run-getter for Goa while pacers Laxmipathy Balaji and Sunil Sam, and right-arm offbreak S Suresh Kumar scalped two wickets each.

    Replying, Tamil Nadu made 126 for two in 16.5 overs with an unbeaten partnership of 78 for the third wicket between Abhinav Mukund (49 off 31 balls) and S Badrinath (31 off 30 balls). For Goa, S S Bandekar was the only bowler to take wicket with match figures of 2 for 27.